Stone Tools Reveal Humans Lived in Britain 700,000 Years Ago

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Astronuc
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http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/12/1216_051216_humans_britain.html

James Owen
for National Geographic News, December 16, 2005

Stone tools found on the coast of Britain suggest early humans first colonized northern Europe much earlier than previously known.

Ancient flints discovered in cliffs at Pakefield in eastern England show humans lived in northern Europe some 700,000 years ago, according to researchers.

They say the find indicates that humans journeyed into Britain 200,000 years earlier than experts had suspected.

Flints typical of crafted tools used for butchering meat and cutting wood were found in sediments along with the remains of hippos, elephants, and other exotic animals.

The long-extinct wildlife dates the flints back to a much warmer period when Britain was still connected to continental Europe via a land bridge.
Thanks to Orstio (everything-science) for discovering this article.
 
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  • #2
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That suggests to me there are probably alot of good sites at the bottom of the English Channel we can't get to.
 
  • #3
matthyaouw
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Thats an interesting find. Thanks for sharing it.

Zoobyshoe said:
That suggests to me there are probably alot of good sites at the bottom of the English Channel we can't get to.
There are a few that we can get to actually. Trawlers can pick up some pretty interesting stuff. Check out Andre's posts in this thread:
https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=70996&highlight=fossil+hunting
 
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selfAdjoint
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The article says the humans in question are thought to have been homo heidelbergensis. If I recall correctly these were an archaic form of modern homo, with chins but heavy brow ridges, that may have been ancestral (or not) to both neanderthals and sapiens.
 
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matthyaouw said:
There are a few that we can get to actually. Trawlers can pick up some pretty interesting stuff. Check out Andre's posts in this thread:
https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=70996&highlight=fossil+hunting
I actually read that thread back when it was new. I'd forgotten about it, but that must be why this idea popped into my head first thing.

I was thinking that any human artifacts found on the former land bridge would be alot easier to date.
 
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selfAdjoint said:
The article says the humans in question are thought to have been homo heidelbergensis. If I recall correctly these were an archaic form of modern homo, with chins but heavy brow ridges, that may have been ancestral (or not) to both neanderthals and sapiens.
I think it is saying that the previous earliest found are believed to belong to Heidelbergensis:

"Previously the oldest evidence for human settlement in northern Europe came from fossilized teeth and bones found in England and Germany.

Those remains are thought to belong to the species Homo heidelbergensis."

They don't seem to actually try to pin these newly discovered, much older ones on a particular homonid. It doesn't seem they've found actual human fossils with the artifacts to give them a lead.
 
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Are they sure there Homo Saphines or If there some eariler species of Human like the Neandthals or somthing?

Flints typical of crafted tools used for butchering meat and cutting wood were found in sediments along with the remains of hippos, elephants, and other exotic animals
I never knew that hippos lived in Britain:confused: The Elephants might be Mamnthos or a realtive to it.
 
  • #8
Evo
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scott1 said:
I never knew that hippos lived in Britain:confused: The Elephants might be Mamnthos or a realtive to it.
I had read about hippos in Europe. Did you know that camels used to live in what is now the United States?
 
  • #9
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There's an island off the coast of California up near Santa Barbara where they have discovered the fossilized remains of a race of miniature wooly mamoths. Instead of being elephant-sized, they're only about as tall as horses, and they only existed on that particular island.

They figure they spread over there on a land bridge as normal mammoths, then became an isolated population when the peninsula became an island. Somehow the smaller ones faired much better in that environment and got continually selected untill the whole bunch of them were "pygmy" mammoths.

I think it's avery common mistake to misunderstand the concept "survival of the fittest" to mean survival of the strongest, most powerful. It actually means survival of the variations best suited to the environmental change.
 
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scott1 said:
Are they sure there Homo Saphines or If there some eariler species of Human like the Neandthals or somthing?
I think there's probably general agreement that that far back, 700,000 years ago, there were no homo sapiens anywhere. It is even way too early for Neanderthals. Neanderthals don't start showing up untill about 230,000 years ago.

If the date they've given these tools is accurate, then they are 470,000 years older than the oldest Neanderthal fossils we've found.
 
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Astronuc
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I have to wonder if those dates are accurate. This is the first I have heard of "amino acid geochronology", but apparently is relatively well accepted.

Furthermore, I would imagine that these "stone age" people came from somewhere else - from or through continental Europe, and then what about Asia and Africa.
 

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